The British Government Is Hopeless

In February, a group calling itself The Electronic Civil Disobedience against the Fur and the Vivisection Industry vowed to launch denial of service attacks against the websites of fur companies Peek & Clopenburg; Legacy Trading; The German Fur Institute; Fur Commission USA; Fur & Fashion GmbH; Maison de Bonneterie; and the MIFUR.

A denial of service attack is normally an attempt to flood a web server with bogus requests with the hope that at some point the bogus traffic will overwhelm the web server and cause it to crash. In this case, however, the protesters apparently focused on flooding the e-mail servers of the targeted organizations.

Here’s the bizarre part — if they’re carried out in the UK, denial of service attacks are not illegal. The government has been investigating explicitly outlawing DOS attacks for the past couple years, but still hasn’t followed through.

It’s bizarre that the UK can, on the one hand, consider extreme measures such as preventative house arrest against animal rights activists, but can’t even pass an obvious and straightforward remedy such as outlawing DOS attacks

The UK is just hopeless at coming up with legal responses to extremist activities. When the animal rights activists succeed in driving pharmaceutical research out of the country, it will be because the British government continues to do little more than alternate between throwing up a white flag on the one hand and overreaching on the other.


Fur protesters launch Web attacks. Dan Ilett, ZDNet UK, February 14, 2005.

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